Hi there! Hope this autumn finds you well and excited for all things spooky and cozy. I decorated for Halloween back at the end of August because WHY THE HELL NOT!? There’s enough collective suffering out there right now not to celebrate when the spirit moves you. Here are a few pics from around the house.
My short story “Blessed Art Thou Among Women” is out in Ghost Orchid Press‘ Blood & Bone: An Anthology of Body Horror by Women and Non-Binary Writers, edited by A.R. Ward. It has received some awesome reviews so far on both Goodreads and Amazon, which feels great of course! If you’d like to pick up a copy do so here.
This month my short story “The Warbler’s Song” will be out in Unsettling Reads‘ Autumn Noir, edited by H. Dair Brown and Robin Knabel, with an expected release date of October 13th. I’m anxious for this story to be out in the world but even more exciting for me personally, as someone new to being published, is to share a table of contents with ~THE~ Bev Vincent. ::gasp::
Next month I begin my writer’s residency with Cinnabar Moth Publishing. Expect two stories from me in their e-zine, as well as a podcast episode in which I had lots of fun chatting with Rasta Musick about diversity in publishing. Also, stay tuned for my short story “The Black Tree” in their upcoming anthology A Cold Christmas and the Darkest of Winters. You can pre-order this one through all the usual suspects: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Target.
I am also embarking on a new journey in my career. On the 12th of this month I will begin my new job as the Marketing and Communications Manager at the local non-profit Harford Family House, which assists local families and unaccompanied young adults experiencing homelessness. I currently work at a non-profit that assists victims and survivors of domestic violence, sexual violence, stalking, and sex trafficking; and I feel lucky to continue working in the non-profit sector, doing behind-the-scenes work to make a difference in the lives of others. I cannot even begin to tell you how much I’ve taken away from my current job, but perhaps the most impactful has been everything I’ve learned about healthy relationships, abuse, assault, etc. The ways in which we mimic our upbringing, cope with trauma, draw or break boundaries. I’m still learning, still processing. Reminding myself to be patient, kind, forgiving of my own journey with trauma and how it has impacted my own relationships and children along the way. I mean, was it really a job or was it divine intervention?
Speaking of which, I’m not a religious person but I have been doing a lot of praying lately. I’d like to think of it more as a form of meditation, really. A space for me to express my worries, gratitude, love, thoughts and hand it over to the the universe, God, or whomever. I find that at the end of the day it brings me great comfort.
Anyhow, right now I am in the middle of reading King’s Salem’s Lot. I have tried numerous times throughout my adult life to get through this story, but to be completely transparent I have the attention span of a gnat when it comes to larger works. This time I am armed with both the book and audiobook, a threesome of sorts. It helps me pace myself and focuses my attention a little more. This is the method I used when I was teaching high schoolers, too. This is the year I am DETERMINED to find out what happens to Ben and the Marsten House.
Determined. Yes, it has been a year of determination.
Anyway, I’d like to leave you with a little Halloween statistic I read today:
According to The Shelf, men are 24% more likely than women to visit a haunted house. I can think of a million reasons why this may be true, including how triggering it could be for women to have strangers reaching for or jumping out at them when 1 in 3 will experience physical and/or sexual violence in her lifetime.
Are you a woman who enjoys haunted houses?
What are you currently reading?